IDW Publishing reviews 2/3/21 – G.I. Joe #278

Taking a look at another big week from IDW with G.I. Joe #278, continuing one of the best arcs in recent memory.

The Untold Tales arc has played out like a welcome homecoming for longtime fans. Writer Larry Hama is using these stories to focus on Joes that have been somewhat neglected over the close to 300 issues of his run. And the format allows Hama to go old school before ninjas dominated the story.

In this issue, Hama takes the Arctic theme characters — Snow Job, Frostbite, Iceberg and Blizzard on a snow mission with Cover Girl and Lowlight — to rescue a Cobra hostage.

gi joe 278 interior art

Part of the fun of this issue is the Cobras aren’t led by an elite officer or one of Cobra Commander’s trusted lieutenants. It’s just a basic Snow Serpent, but Hama writes him far more competent than most Cobra grunts.


Everything about this issue feels like vintage G.I. Joe in the best way possible from the banter during a firefight, the civilian caught in the war with Cobra and strong characterization. Hama tends to keep the snow-based missions to a minimum so it’s always fun to see characters like Iceberg, Frostbite and Blizzard. Cover Girl and Lowlight aren’t neglected in terms of screen time either.

The art from Dan Schoening strongly favors the animation style of the Joe cartoon. That’s more of an observation than a problem as it fits into that older timeframe model while maintaining a high level of quality.

Continuity aside, I’d be perfectly content if Hama kept the Untold Tales format of the book through issue #300. It’s been so good and Hama seems rejuvenated. Along with solid art, this title feels like it’s got plenty of life and quality stories left in the tank to thrive for another 300 issues and G.I. Joe #278 was another outstanding effort.

gi joe a real american hero cover #278

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Catch up on some of the earlier Real American Hero issues on Amazon.

Photo Credit: IDW Publishing